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Thread: sewing room ergonomics

  1. #1
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    Good morning all... I just read the topic about tilting one's sewing machine to relieve stress on the neck and back and that can be a good thing to do... What is interesting is that the speaker at our guild meeting last night was a Physical Therapist who spoke about the three main areas on our bodies that become tight/weak when we sew: the neck, the back and shoulders, and the thumb and wrist. It was excellent and we left with great tips for relieving the stress and pain. He also spoke to the importance of using a good chair and taught us what to look for in a chair.

    sooo, if you know a good PT, you might want to think about asking them to give a program.

    And actually we had two programs... the other was a sweet quilter who has made 55 Quilts of Valor in the last three years... another EXCELLENT program.... so very inspiring...

  2. #2
    Super Member mommamac's Avatar
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    inquiring minds want to know...
    what should we look for when selecting a chair??

  3. #3
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Maybe he could write an article for the digest.:)

  4. #4
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know why I didn't write this earlier...

    4 things are a MUST and the 5th is optional:

    1) Adjustable seat height: Knees should be just barely lower than hips. The angle at your hips should be about 95 degrees (just a smidge wider than a right angle.)

    2) Adjustable seat back: This puts the back of the knees about three fingers in front of the front of the seat. If we sit too far back, we slump to reach the machine/work. Have you ever been bothered by cutting off the circulation at the back of your legs against the chair? (can't remember the other details on this point ) :-( sorry...

    3)Adjustable seat back height: "Don't cover up shoulder blades." The support should be in the middle of the back. We should be aiming for maintaining the normal curves in the spine. A quick google search will help with this?

    4) The arm rests should be short, stubby arm rests. Too long and we can't maneuver the chair to the correct position at the machine table... makes us lean forward putting strain on the back and neck.

    5) A really nice chair will have a seat tilt... but should not be more than 5 degrees forward. He mentioned that tilting the machine is an option, too... just pay attention to your body when you make a change.

    One thing he said about preventing fatigue and strain is to get up every 10-15 minutes, walk around, stretch out. And remember, stretches should be long and sloooooowwww. 10-15 seconds on each stretch, at least! This is one reason I have the ironing board close by, but not right next to the machine. Of course, I'm thinking a little treat from the kitchen is appropriate, too, occasionally!

    He gave some exercises, but I'm afraid I won't explain them correctly and you might be worse off! Again, a google search for stretches done at the office will probably give you some good ideas.

    Hope this helps?

  5. #5
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information!!!

  6. #6
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    The information helps a lot. Thank you so much. I need to go out and find a good chair. The arms are long and the only thing adjustable is the seat height. With Fibro I ache mercilessly anyway but maybe I can do something to prevent some of it with this knowledge. Appreciate it!!

  7. #7
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    thanks for the tips

    Quote Originally Posted by running1
    Well, I don't know why I didn't write this earlier...

    4 things are a MUST and the 5th is optional:

    1) Adjustable seat height: Knees should be just barely lower than hips. The angle at your hips should be about 95 degrees (just a smidge wider than a right angle.)

    2) Adjustable seat back: This puts the back of the knees about three fingers in front of the front of the seat. If we sit too far back, we slump to reach the machine/work. Have you ever been bothered by cutting off the circulation at the back of your legs against the chair? (can't remember the other details on this point ) :-( sorry...

    3)Adjustable seat back height: "Don't cover up shoulder blades." The support should be in the middle of the back. We should be aiming for maintaining the normal curves in the spine. A quick google search will help with this?

    4) The arm rests should be short, stubby arm rests. Too long and we can't maneuver the chair to the correct position at the machine table... makes us lean forward putting strain on the back and neck.

    5) A really nice chair will have a seat tilt... but should not be more than 5 degrees forward. He mentioned that tilting the machine is an option, too... just pay attention to your body when you make a change.

    One thing he said about preventing fatigue and strain is to get up every 10-15 minutes, walk around, stretch out. And remember, stretches should be long and sloooooowwww. 10-15 seconds on each stretch, at least! This is one reason I have the ironing board close by, but not right next to the machine. Of course, I'm thinking a little treat from the kitchen is appropriate, too, occasionally!

    He gave some exercises, but I'm afraid I won't explain them correctly and you might be worse off! Again, a google search for stretches done at the office will probably give you some good ideas.

    Hope this helps?

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for the info!

  9. #9
    Super Member mommamac's Avatar
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    :thumbup: thanks - me thinks chair sales will get a boost.

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Good tips, especially getting up every so often. That makes a big difference. I seem to forget that when I'm on the computer, too.

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